"And the Lord shall be King over all the earth ..."
Course #22 - Sin and Its Consequences (Part 1)
The world is in a mess! Wars, famine, disease, death, crime, violenceÖ God created a beautiful world. Man has spoilt it. Man's sinful nature with his greed, selfishness, jealousy and disobedience have ruined society and this earth.
Where did it all start going wrong?
In the beginning God created the first man, Adam. He was formed from the dust of the ground, and we read that:
"The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" (Genesis 2:7)
God provided a beautiful garden for Adam to live in and then provided him with his wife, Eve.
At this point, Adam and Eve had not shown whether they would obey God or not. They had not been tried. God gave them a simple command:
"Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Genesis 2: 16-17)
Adam and Eve had a choice
Either they could obey God or they could disobey Him and eat of the fruit of the forbidden tree. They had free will. God had not made "puppets" who had no choice as to whether they obeyed or not. God wanted men and women who would choose His way because they loved and respected Him.
The serpent came along and lied to Adam and Eve. The serpent said they would not die if they ate the forbidden fruit, and that instead they would become like gods, knowing good and evil. Adam and Eve wanted to be more like the angels. They chose to eat of the fruit. They sinned and they disobeyed God.
God had said they would die if they disobeyed. So Adam and Eve were condemned to death and driven out of the Garden of Eden.
Although they lived a long time after this, they became dying creaturesóand just like you and me, they would become tired and sick, grow old, and finally die.
What is death?
Death was a punishment for sin. God had said:
"Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return" (Genesis 3: 19)
So Adam's body decayed when he died and returned to the dust from which it was made.
Remember, God made Adam from the dust of the earth and then God breathed the breath of life into him before he became a "living soul".
DUST plus BREATH = A LIVING SOUL
So when Adam died,
LIVING SOUL minus BREATH = DEAD SOUL
that is, the LIVING SOUL without BREATH became DUST
Adam's death was no different from ours. We all sin, so we all die.
"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Romans 5: 12)
Part of Adam did not go on living in heaven. Of course not! His death was Godís punishment for sin, and death means the end of all the life processes.
None of us will go to heaven when we die. There is no such thing as an "immortal soul". The bible does not mention immortal souls. There is nothing that carries on living after a person dies. There is no "immortal" or "divine" spark in man.
"Soul" means life, person, living creature
Below is a list of some of the passages in the Bible where this word "soul" is used. (The passages are taken from the Authorised or King James Version. Other translations may vary but the meaning is still the same.) Look them up for yourself and see if you agree with the comments.
There are many more examples we could give to show that the word ësoulí means person or being. (In fact the word translated "soul" is also used of animals; see Genesis 1:21,24; 2:19; 9:10. In these cases it is translated ëcreatureí.)
This all supports what Ecclesiastes 3: 19-20 says:
"For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast; for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again."
There is no difference in death between a man and an animal. An animal does not have a part which goes to heaven when it dies any more than a man does. Both have lifeless bodies when they stop breathing.
"SOUL" means LIFE, PERSON, CREATURE or BEING
Look at these passages which show us what happens when we die. (Look them up so you can read them in full.)
Psalm 146: 4 "Manís breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth, in that very day his thoughts perish."
Ecclesiastes 9: 5 "the dead know not any thing"
Psalm 6: 5 "In death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?"
Psalm 39: 13 " O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more."
Psalm 115: 17 "The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence."
These passages all show that dead people cannot think.
When King Hezekiah was told that he was going to die he was devastated. He wanted to stay alive because he knew that there was nothing in death. He said:
"For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth" (Isaiah 38: 18)
He also said, "The living, the living he shall praise thee" (Isaiah 38:19), knowing that if he was dead he could not praise God.
What about King David? We are told that he did not go to heaven (Acts 2: 34)even though he is called a man after God's own heart.
All men are condemned to death because of sin. They do not live on in another form after death.
If we do not understand this we will never appreciate the way in which the Lord Jesus suffered and died to set us free. If we had immortal souls there would have been no need for Jesus to die for us.
But the Bible tells us we have no hope of life apart from Christ.
1. God made Adam out of the dust of the ground.
2. He caused him to live, by breathing into his nostrils the breath of life.
3. God gave Adam a commandment. He told him that if he disobeyed this commandment, the punishment would be death.
4. Adam and Eve disobeyed God and broke His commandment. They became dying creatures.
5. All men are descended from Adam, and inherit his sinful nature. All men sin, and die.
6. The word "soul" means life or being, and usually refers to a person.
7. The phrase "immortal soul" is not found in the Bible.
8. Death is a punishment for sin.
9. Death is a state of unconsciousness. There is no part of us which goes on living when we die.
A chapter to read: Ecclesiates 9
A good verse to memorise: Psalm 146: 4
"His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish."
If you have questions or comments about this lesson, please feel free to e-mail us with them.